A Question of Distance

I was recently asked to write about the “farthest” I’ve ever traveled from home. Immediately, a short list of locations ran through my mind. And I pondered, “Which was the farthest from home?” With the help of Google Maps and a little patience, I started comparing distances.

Of course, my contrarian persona threw me a curve ball before I was finished. It whispered, “What did they mean by farthest?”

I know! Farthest usually means distance, but not always! Take New York City and Toronto. I spent time in both the late ’80s and early ’90s. They are less than 500 miles apart by car but might have been on different planets. The difference between Ottawa and Toronto was not as dramatic, but they could have been on different continents.

I could go on with the comparisons. I’ve been blessed to travel to wonderful places thousands of miles from what I’d call home. If you’d like, click the links below to read about some of those experiences. However, none of those trips meet the farthest I’ve traveled definition I have in mind.

The farthest I ever traveled from home was a round-trip of almost 2,000 miles that lasted several weeks. It was a sad journey, though it could have been a sadly amusing tragic comedy movie in hindsight. What made it sadly funny was where it ended.

My mother, brother, and I left home in the summer of 1963 and headed to my grandparents’ home in Indiana. It was not a vacation or a normal trip to see the relatives. It was a relocation journey. Thankfully, the relocation did not work out. After a few weeks, we returned to Fort Worth, Texas, our hometown. Unfortunately, we weren’t going home.

Mom and I ended up in a small house about a mile from where we lived when we left Fort Worth. While we were away, Dad moved to a garage apartment near my future stepmom, and my brother joined him. When the dust finally settled, the term home had a different meaning to all of us.

Before, the four of us lived in a large ranch-style home with a few acres, a barn, and two horses. The horses were not ours, but we cared for them. You might say we were their foster family. Mom and I were still within walking distance of the place, but it might as well have been in another universe.

Yes, farthest can mean something other than distance.

© oneoldcop.com 2023

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